Blagojevich blasts Foxx for ‘reforms’ he says let violent suspects go free

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is confronted by wrongful conviction activist Mark Clements during a press conference Friday across from State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s downtown offices. Blagojevich had said Foxx’s “well-intentioned” efforts at criminal justice reform have allowed violent criminals to go free.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Former governor Rod Blagojevich, who has long claimed he landed in federal prison as the victim of overzealous prosecutors, on Friday called on State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to “err on the side of public safety” when deciding whether or not to bring charges against violent offenders.

Joined by the families of a half-dozen Chicago murder victims, the former governor served as a sort of keynote speaker at a news conference Friday in Daley Plaza across from Foxx’s downtown offices. The former governor had barbed comments for current Gov. J.B. Pritzker, but focused his remarks mostly on Foxx’s “well-intentioned” reform efforts that he believes allow violent criminals to remain free.

“The Cook County state’s attorney, I do believe, is well-intentioned in her desire for criminal justice reform, and frankly, is so caught up in that she’s lost all ideas of common sense,” said Blagojevich, who was a Cook County prosecutor before launching his political career. 

“I understand there’s a chance (suspects) may be innocent, the law says they are presumed innocent. But the statistics tell us that in most cases, they’re guilty. And it seems to me that when you have to make hard decisions… you ought to err on the side of public safety,” the former governor said.

In an emailed statement, Foxx was droll in her response to Blagojevich’s critique.

“We are pursuing a smart approach to crime and violence that focuses on bringing justice against the ringleaders, gang recruiters, and others who spread violence across our neighborhoods and cities,” she said. “As for Rod Blagojevich, I hope he remains focused on staying out of prison himself after his extortion schemes that victimized children in need of medical care.”

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Blagojevich was convicted on federal bribery and extortion charges and spent eight years in federal prison before former President Donald Trump commuted his sentence in 2020.

The press conference, which was announced by conservative journalist and consultant Matt Vargas and community activist Andrew Holmes, ostensibly highlighted the plight of families waiting for criminal charges in the murder of a loved one.

Holmes peppered his remarks urging police to make arrests — and for prosecutors to bring charges — with repeated caveats that “this is not about bashing Kim Foxx.”

“I’m gonna support Kim Foxx,” Holmes said, noting that prosecutors needed more resources to “get the proper paperwork to charge these cases.”

“Somewhere in this office, there is a loophole.”

Such loopholes have forced police to release a suspect in the 2021 murder of Chrys Carvajal, a 19-year-old Army recruit who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Belmont Cragin just after …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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